A Christmas Carol

It’s Christmas morning and I got up at 4:00 A.M., not to check under the Christmas tree which I don’t have any more because my dog was convinced it was a new indoor bathroom, but because I had a lot of phone calls to make. A hacker friend of mine sent me a file of the home telephone numbers of everyone who works for telemarketing companies and I wanted to make sure that I was able to call and be the first to wake them up and wish each and every one of them the Merriest of Christmases and to see if they by chance needed their carpets cleaned because I happened to have a crew in their area.

I hang up, pour myself an eggnog and start enjoying the Yuletide spirit when the phone rings. It’s Hollywood calling me and he sounds depressed. “Can you meet me at the Starbucks on Melrose right around the corner from my office?”

“I don’t drink coffee.”

“Good. I’m buying,” he hangs up.

Reluctantly I trudge over to Starbucks and half an hour later I’m watching a very pale and almost frail looking Hollywood guzzle his third Trenta Java Chip Frappucino with drops of Caramel flavoring, a shot of soy milk and a dash of protein powder.

“What’s wrong? Did someone ask you to pay them what was in their contract?” I ask.

Hollywood doesn’t respond and sits there alternately fidgeting with his Rolex and looking out the window. I don’t really have anything to say to him and it’s getting to be an Octomom version of a pregnant pause before he finally mutters, “Bah Humbug,” and stares at me.

“Don’t tell me you’re making a version of A Christmas Carol and you’ve moved it to the present, changed Scrooge’s name to ‘Jones’ and now the movie’s about Scrooge wanting to fuck his mother…”

“Shut up damn you,” Hollywood interrupts. “I asked you here because something happened to me last night and I want you to help me make things right.”

“You want to make things right? Did you bring your wallet? This could be an awesome Christmas, I might be able to finally afford that piece of bubble gum I always wanted!”

“Humbug. Shut up and fucking listen. I was coming home, and I put my key into the door, and as I opened the door I looked up and instead of seeing a knocker – I saw Roger Debris’ face in the door but it didn’t look normal. I shut the door, and ran upstairs into my room. I turned on the light and then the electricity went out. I checked my iPhone to see if there was some sort of candle app but I couldn’t find it, so I settled for the flashlight one instead. I’m scanning my bedroom and just as I pass the light over where my bedroom closet is, I see Roger Debris coming through the closet door like he’s a ghost, and he’s wearing his pink cardigan Ed Wood Fan Club sweater and he’s got chains all around him. I’d never been so frightened!”

“It’s nothing unusual or paranormal. Roger Debris has been coming out of the closet for years.” I try to soothe Hollywood.

“No I’m serious. Roger Debris was a ghost.”

“You can’t be a ghost if you’re not dead and I check the obituary section of the newspaper every day and haven’t seen anything on him yet.”

“Humbug!” Hollywood stares at me with steely eyes and another shortened Kim Kardashian like pregnant pause passes before he speaks again. “I asked Roger Debris, why he was fettered and he replied, “Oh sweetie, you would not believe it but I made it link by link and yard by yard; I girded it of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is the pattern strange to you – because if it is I’ve got to talk to Brucie my publicist because he said that my chains were going to be the rage, he had Lady Gaga and Madonna set to do a super gangnam style duet video on an infomercial we were going to put up on YouTube and then I was going to open a boutique on Santa Monica Boulevard. But enough about me. I came to tell you – unless you repent you’re going to be like me, well maybe not so fabulous, but kind of like me. I’m sending three ghosts your way and you’re going to be haunted.”

“Are you on mushrooms, and if so do you have any extra?” I ask.

“No you’ve got to believe me,” Hollywood grabs me firmly by my arm. “No sooner had he said I was going to be haunted when he sashays out the door and all of the sudden Nina Pennington appears holding a candle and states, ‘I’m the ghost of um um, oh I forget… line please’ and we have to do four retakes before she gets the line right and says ‘I’m the ghost of Christmas past.’ I ask her to tell me something I don’t know, and she gets pissed and drags me into the street where Justin Bieber runs me over with his Ferrari. As I’m lying in the middle of the street in pain, I see my childhood pass by and well, I never was too good at reading or paying attention to plots, so what it all boiled down to was she threatens to sing a song unless I repent.”

“Okay if it isn’t mushrooms, is it acid? It must be some pretty good shit .”

“I’m not on acid. I’m pouring out my soul here. This is like religious.”

“Religious? Are you repenting, and if so, you owe me…”

“Bah humbug, I’m not repenting.”

“Then why did you invite me down here?”

“I’m not finished. Somehow I’m transported back to my bed, and everything is back to normal. I’m just falling back to sleep when Jason Lee appears and claims he’s the ghost of Christmas present, except he’s a Scientologist and doesn’t believe in Christmas and wants to take me to some bizarre planet named Xenu where there is this crippled kid named Tiny Tim whose dad is someone I fucked over when I bought his movie rights and now the guy’s living on skid row.”

Hollywood is babbling on so I try to speed him along by interrupting and asking, “Is this some sort of apocryphal story and you’re trying to find a graceful way of paying me without losing face?”

“Humbug,” he shouts grabbing my wrist firmly. “No fucking way! It’s just Roger Debris said there would be the Ghost of Christmas future coming so I went on IMDB.com and saw he was being going to be played by Adam Sandler – and even I wouldn’t stoop so low as to hire him as an actor.”

“I’m sorry I don’t follow you one bit.”

“What day is today?”

“Today? Why Christmas day!”

“Do you know the Poulterer’s in the next street?”

“What the fuck is the Poulterer?”

“It’s a place where they sell turkeys.”

“You mean the Blockbuster that used to sell all your shitty movies on DVD? That whole chain went bankrupt a couple of years ago.”

“No I mean the place where they sell Christmas turkeys that you eat.”

“You mean Ralph’s supermarket?”

“You’re an intelligent boy! A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there. Not the little prize Turkey, but the big one?

“I know you pay me shit, but I haven’t stooped to taking a job at a grocery store yet. How the fuck would I know and why in the world would you drag me here to ask when you could just go yourself and find out?”

“Well I downloaded A Christmas Carol on Netflix and I thought if I gave you a shilling, you’d go buy the turkey so I could give it to the crippled kid and then I wouldn’t have to suffer watching Adam Sandler try to act.”

“This is America and we don’t use shillings, and even if we did a shilling is worth one twentieth of a Pound which would be about 8 cents in American money. A turkey is going to cost at least sixty dollars. You’re a little short.”

“You would make me suffer through Adam Sandler for $59.92?”


“Where’s your Christmas spirit?”

“Inside your wallet.”

“Okay I’ll give you twenty bucks.”

“And I’ll give you a Banquet turkey pot pie. They cost only ninety-nine cents.”

“Forty and that’s my last and best offer.”

“Have you seen Jack and Jill?” I ask.

This time there is only like a Jessica Simpson baby bump like pause.

“Okay ninety bucks you can keep the change.”

And so, the cripple got his turkey. Hollywood didn’t get the Ghost of Christmas Future, and my movie doesn’t have a ghost of a chance.

As Tiny Tim observed, “God Bless Us, Every One”

And they all lived happily ever after until Justin Bieber ran them over with his Ferrari.

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